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The “not-so-secret society,” GW’s Order of the Hippo, held numerous events in the past week with the help of University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. While the group provides networking opportunities for students interested in forging relationships with University administrators, the Order of the Hippo showcases a potential GW double standard. SJS must investigate the activities of the Order of the Hippo, including the alleged blindfolding of participants for events taking place after midnight – a clear violation of University hazing policy.
Students across the country, and especially at GW, continue to keep the genocide in Darfur issue alive. Last week, members of GW’s Students Taking Action Now: Darfur group protested outside of the State Department to call for increased U.S. action in the region. Again, GW students are taking advantage of their unique location in the capital to advocate for an issue that the Bush administration seems to be overlooking.
Student Judicial Services overstepped its boundaries by using Thefacebook to identify students who may be members of unrecognized fraternities. Students received threatening letters from SJS in a mass scare tactic. It is important for students to realize that information they post on Thefacebook and elsewhere on the Internet is in the public domain. The University, however, needs to respect students’ rights and provide due process if students are suspected of misconduct.
A potential medical amnesty policy in the works would protect intoxicated students from excessive judicial action when University Police respond to a call. Though the current penalties for alcohol violations are minimal, this change would have a psychological impact on campus, encouraging students to request medical attention for intoxicated peers.
GW’s choices for Commencement speakers are a diverse group. Andy Rooney brings a big name to the group and Sen. Harry Reid is a distinguished and successful GW law alumnus. Including the other three speakers, the overall selection seems like an interesting cross section.
The Student Association continues to imitate the petty politics of the U.S. government. The Senate-elect’s blocking of SA-president elect Audai Shakour’s cabinet appointments sets the tone for a contentious year for the two branches in which only students will lose. The SA must take a pragmatic, service-based approach to helping students. President Omar Woodard succeeded this year after realizing this fact early in his term.
The new Colonial Cash policy allows students to keep their funds year to year and after graduation. This change is a boon for students who previously spent the remainder of their points at the end of each year to avoid losing them. GW still refuses, however, to send out a blast e-mail or use any other means to effectively publicize this change.

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